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County speaker found guilty of flouting Constitution on elections

By Patrick Kibet | Updated Tue, June 13th 2017 at 09:24 GMT +3
Susan Kihika

The Political Parties Tribunal Monday dealt a blow to Jubilee Party aspirant Susan Kihika's bid for the Nakuru senatorial seat.

The tribunal ruled that she contravened the law by vying without first resigning as county assembly speaker.

The tribunal ruled that Ms Kihika failed to resign as county speaker before presenting herself as a candidate in the Jubilee Party primaries.

The tribunal, however, noted that it has no powers to stop the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from processing Kihika's candidature and that the case only dealt with the constitutionality of her candidature for the Senate position.

Violated the law

"We accordingly hold that the respondent (Jubilee Party) violated the law by presenting the interested party (Kihika), an ineligible candidate, as its candidate for the Nakuru County senatorial position," the tribunal ruled.

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It added: "We, however, do not have sufficient material at this stage to issue an order stopping IEBC from processing Kihika's candidature. The complaint was brought to uphold the Constitution."

In a case filed by nominated MCA Margaret Wanjiru Kiiru, who is also vying for the senatorial seat as an independent candidate, Kihika is accused of flouting the Constitution. Ms Kiiru asked the tribunal to stop IEBC from processing her candidature.

Kiiru alleges that Kihika was an ineligible candidate since Article 99 2(a) of the Constitution considered her a State officer.

According to Kiiru, Kihika still held the office of the speaker of the Nakuru County assembly and was, hence, ineligible under the Constitution.

"The complainant contends that it would be a waste of funds for Jubilee Party to present the name of Kihika for the elections since her candidature was ineligible," she argued.

Kiiru said Jubilee Party had violated the Constitution by presenting an unqualified person as candidate for the Nakuru senatorial seat.

Kihika, however, argued that the tribunal did not have jurisdiction to hear the case and asserted that she was within the law to run for the senatorial position.

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The tribunal noted that Kihika oversaw the passage of the Nakuru County Urban Agricultural Promotion Regulation Bill, 2015, on May 18 and at the same time participated in the primaries.

"It is on record that as late as May 18 the interested party (Kihika) was still a member of the county assembly of Nakuru and the speaker thereof," the tribunal noted.

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